Bee Card tips

Thursday 10 September 2020

Well done Dunedin! We have launched the Bee Card, and passengers have been buzzing around enjoying the new flat fares.

It seems people are adjusting to the new card and fare system well, with most people remembering to top up the night before they travel, and tag off when they get off the bus.

If you haven’t yet used your Bee Card or still have some questions, check out these top tips.

Using your card for the first time

  • The first tag on takes a bit longer. Hold the card against the machine under the screen until it beeps. It will also say “Tag on successful”.
  • It’s the same when you get off the bus. Hold the card to the machine to hear it beep as you tag off. You can exit via the back or front doors.
  • Bee Cards activate when they are tagged, so if you’ve topped up online but it says “pending balance” don’t worry, it’ll pull through the funds when you tag on.

It takes time

The system will work across 9 regions in NZ when Taranaki, the last region, joins next month. This means that some features take time to process in the background.

  • Online top ups can take up to 12 hours, so don’t top up 5 minutes before your trip.
  • You’ll see your remaining balance on your Bee Card when you tag off the bus, however there’s a delay for your online balance to update. It automatically updates to the correct amount when the driver finishes their shift and that particular ticket system is logged off.
  • Concessions may take 30 minutes to register, so don’t register your child’s concession right before the journey or they will end up being charged the adult fare.

5-18 years olds

  • To get the discounted fare of $1.20 per trip, you MUST register your Bee Card.
  • Register your card at and enter your date of birth.
  • Once the concession is on the card, you won’t need to show the driver your ID like you have done previously. You just tag on and off.

SuperGold Card holders

It’s been great to see so many SuperGold Card holders come and see us at the Otago Regional Council offices to get and register a Bee Card. Even though you travel free all day until the end of this year, it’s wise to get a Bee Card now. We are happy to help. Read further for ways to get it done.

Do you need help?

  • Call us 24/7 on 0800 ORBUS DN (0800 672 8736)
  • Come and see us at 70 Stafford Street or 144 Rattray Street, Philip Laing House, Level 2 (cnr Princes St)
  • Check out the website FAQs, where there are also video tutorials, at
  • Ask your support agency to get in touch with us
  • Find all the information you need on the My Little Local app, which is free to download